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Behind Enemy Lines (2001) Poster

Trivia

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In the football scene, the filmmakers actually tried to have the catapult shuttle kick the football off. Unfortunately, the shuttle completely obliterated the ball, forcing a Navy Master Chief to just chuck the ball in the air for the desired shot.
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The film is based loosely on the experiences of U.S. Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady, who was shot down near the town of Mrkonjic Grad in northern Bosnia in June 1995, and was stranded in Serb-held territory for six days before being rescued by U.S. Marines. O'Grady brought a lawsuit against Twentieth Century Fox for damages to his character. He claims he didn't curse as much and never disobeyed orders.
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Director John Moore was nearly killed in the scene where the tank busts through the wall. He was pulled away by a stuntman just in time.
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This is the first movie to feature the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
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The character Sasha (Vladimir Mashkov) was used as the model for Niko Bellic in Grand Theft Auto IV (2008).
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The production made all of the snow out of paper. At the time of filming, it was the first winter in one hundred four years that it hadn't snowed in Slovakia.
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Matthew McConaughey turned down the lead role of Burnett.
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In the initial flyby scene of the aircraft carrier, the deck crew can be seen standing in a long line across the deck. This is part of the beginning of flight operations as they search for any objects lying around on the flight deck (screws, bolts, trash, et cetera) that could be sucked into the aircraft's intake during take-off.
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Owen Wilson jokes that most of this movie was creating "a bunch of ways to make running dramatic."
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Coca-Cola did not pay for its product placement in the movie.
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The whole town of Hac is a set that was built for this movie.
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Director John Moore was impressed by how fit Owen Wilson was: "He burned out a few cameramen."
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The producers were so worried about one location, they tested the soil and air to make sure it wasn't toxic.
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The SAM missile system shown in the film is the 9K35 Strela-10 firing the 9M37M missile. It uses an electro-optical guidance, laser proximity fusing and triple channel guidance system. However, its range is only 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), and it can only intercept up to 3,500 meters (10,600 feet).
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Owen Wilson admits that he was an unconventional choice for the lead in a movie like this. However, producer John Davis says they wanted to "take the action hero and turn it on its head."
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None of the actors playing Serbians were actually Serbian; the producers said that they hired Croats as interns and instructors to teach the actors the Serbian language, because they couldn't find any Serbs willing to work on the film due to perceived anti-Serb sentiment shown in the film. Vladimir Mashkov, who played the Serbian sniper Sasha, is Russian, and Olek Krupa, who played the Serbian General Miroslav Lokar, is Polish. Some Slovaks also participated in the film, such as Marko Igonda, who played Colonel Bazda, and Kamil Kollarik, who played a guerrilla who aids Burnett in Hac.
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The U.S. Navy ship used is the U.S.S. Carl Vinson (CVN 70), which has been used in several other movies.
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British news channel Sky News features prominently in the film. Sky News and Twentieth Century Fox are owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
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In response to Lieutenant Burnett's (Owen Wilson's) request to leave the Navy, Admiral Reigart (Gene Hackman) asks him what he's going to do. "Are you gonna fly commercial jets? Troll the friendly skies in a bus?" "Fly the friendly skies" is a slogan of United Airlines; in the 1990s, Gene Hackman was the principal voice-over artist for United Airlines commercials.
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Some of the flashback footage that's used is from the Bosnian War movie Savior (1998).
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Owen Wilson rode in a jet at supersonic speeds to prepare for the role. He pulled around 6 Gs.
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For one scene, Owen Wilson scrambled up to a cliff to get the shot. He didn't even have contact with the crew.
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Lieutenant Burnett's (Owen Wilson's) call sign is "Longhorn". Stackhouse's (Gabriel Macht's) is "Smoke".
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Admiral Piquet is supposed to be French, but Joaquim de Almeida is Portuguese.
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Kamil Kollarik (Babic) is a local Serbian actor. He learned his lines phonetically because he didn't speak English.
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Lieutenant Burnett's (Owen Wilson) call sign is "Longhorn", Wilson had attended the University of Texas, whose mascot is the Texas Longhorn bull.
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The producers had complete cooperation from the U.S. Department of Defense. For one scene, they even turned around the aircraft carrier so the crew could get the right shot.
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According to the beginning of the movie, the "Cincinnati Accords" ended the war in Bosnia. This treaty is loosely based on the real-life Dayton Agreement that ended the war in late 1995. Ironically, the "Cincinnati Accords" required N.A.T.O. forces to withdraw from Bosnia, while the real-life Dayton Agreement allowed a large N.A.T.O. force to be sent to Bosnia to help ensure the peace deal.
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One scene had to be changed because the Department of Defense objected to a Rear Admiral like Reigart leaking information to the press.
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The statue in the film was a forty-six-foot-tall replica. It was placed on the hillside by helicopter.
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Owen Wilson was sent to military school after being kicked out of high school.
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John Moore insisted on shooting during the winter so it would feel more natural, but that meant they only had about seven and a half hours of light every day to film.
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Gene Hackman came up with the idea for Reigart to smoke so he would have a weakness.
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About eighteen footballs were knocked into the ocean shooting one scene.
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Owen Wilson went through some Naval survival training to prepare for the role.
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Director John Moore says about the SIG-Sauer SSG 3000 sniper rifle: "We went to great pains to get that. It's one of the better sniper rifles in the world."
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Owen Wilson separated his shoulder doing stunt work on the movie. He was back the next day shooting action sequences.
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For one scene, the crew made the ice by pouring three to four tons of molten wax over a wooden platform.
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Most of the helicopters in the movie are from the Slovak Air Force, but the rescue choppers are American-made.
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The heat images of soldiers are actually one guy walking around holding a broomstick.
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The film takes place in December 1995.
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The jet scraps are actually two old Soviet MiG 21s that the production bought for five thousand dollars.
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As Master Chief O'Malley (David Keith) leads Lieutenant Burnett (Owen Wilson) to see Admiral Reigart (Gene Hackman), Burnett asks him if he caught the University of Tennessee's football game the previous Saturday. O'Malley replied, "I don't know anything, Lieutenant." Keith graduated from the University of Tennessee.
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In memory of C. Grove Smith.
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John Moore shot most of the movie in Slovakia, which is only about four hundred miles (six hundred forty-three kilometers) from the Bosnian border, so the terrain is pretty similar.
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The filmmakers were going to cut the scene in which the Ray Charles song was used, but changed their minds after adding the music.
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At first, the plane ejection scene was shot with circular parachutes, which are closer to what pilots use, but you can't steer them.
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The guy in the Elvis shades is Ismet Begtasévic. He was a Set Decorator on the movie.
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John Moore praised Owen Wilson's "subtlety" in his scene with the Rear Admiral. He says Wilson's character would have to be restrained like that.
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This is the only American film role for Salaetin Bilal (Ejup). He's usually in Macedonian movies.
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The crew created a clearing by cutting down trees in a Slovak national forest.
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James Van Der Beek was originally sought for the lead but his Dawson's Creek (1998) schedule ruled him out.
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This isn't the first movie about a downed military aviator in which Gene Hackman's starred. He was also in Bat*21 (1988) with Danny Glover.
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Branko Tomovic was considered for the role of Bazda.
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The Serbian tracker is armed with a Stery SSG 3000 in 7.62x51 N.A.T.O., a popular precision sniper rifle used by military and police around the world.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Despite filming it as an R-rated action film, John Moore was asked by the studio to cut the film down to a much more financially viable PG-13. On the home video releases of the film, the extended versions of notably more violent sequences are included as deleted scenes. These scenes include: -A more gratuitous version of the mass grave included shots of severed heads, grisly images of dead women and children as well. -A much bloodier version of Stackhouse's execution. -A more prolonged fight between The Tracker and Burnett resulting in blood spraying and a much longer death as he is stabbed with the flare. The ensuing ending sequence also features much bloodier deaths of various soliders.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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